For our darkest hours Jesus gives us a vision of the Kingdom of GOD and the blessed community.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
In this sequence of blessings, the attributes: poor in spirit, mourn, meek, merciful: seem passive, weak. We might be lulled by them. But it isn’t like that. This isn’t comfort for dark days, it is inspiration.
The last thing we should be is resigned and fatalistic. We should not take as normal the outrageous and believe that nothing can be done. We shouldn’t be nihilistic and selfish, thinking only about ourselves and what we want.
When I hear Jesus in The Beatitudes say “blessed are the poor in spirit” I don’t hear a class or type of people, I hear myself and my friends and the mothers of the dead, but especially their friends and family and loved ones who not only mourn the loss of their child, but are seeking to comfort the afflicted with grief.
When I hear Jesus say “blessed are the peacemakers,” I don’t hear weakness or cowering in fear or being resigned to inaction, I hear a call to stand up, step into the breach, and put my very life on the line to protect the innocent, halt the violence, and bring peace to this place.
Do not be resigned. Do not think this is normal. This is not a New America of vigilantes and bandit militiamen. Evil does not get the last word.
And neither do those seeking to silence you with the status quo, with more fatalities, more acts intended to terrorize and bring evil upon us. Do not think they get the last word either.
Make peace. Tonight. Tomorrow. Expose this evil and prevent more of it.